Gardenhire out as Twins manager
After another 90-loss season for the Minnesota Twins, manager Ron Gardenhire has been fired.
The Twins finished Sunday with a 3-0 defeat at Detroit and fell to 70-92 as the Tigers clinched their fourth straight American League Central title.
Gardenhire's contract lasts through next season, but general manager Terry Ryan had said he would meet individually with Gardenhire and each coach on the staff before determining their status for next year. Those meetings happened this morning.
Gardenhire had said he wanted to return for a 14th season managing the Twins. Resigning was not an option.
"I've always said this is my home. It's where I like it at. I love the organization. I love this area. The whole package," Gardenhire said earlier in the week. "And why wouldn't you want to be here? This is as good as it gets. But, like I said, I'm all for whatever is best for the organization, too. And those are the conversations we're going to have here as we go along."
The Twins won their division in six of the first nine years under Gardenhire, but this is their fourth straight season with 92 or more losses. Tom Kelly managed the Twins for four straight years of 90 or more losses, but he had a pair of World Series championships on his resume, too.
According to STATS, Kelly and Gardenhire are two of only four managers in major league history who have stayed with the same team four straight seasons with 90 or more losses. Connie Mack managed the Philadelphia Athletics for nine consecutive years of 90 or more losses, from 1935-43, and stayed in charge of the A's until 1950. Zack Taylor of the St. Louis Browns (1948-51) also had four in a row, but his last season was 1951.
Kelly's streak lasted from 1997-2000, and his last year was 2001, when the Twins finished 85-77.
Gardenhire was the AL Manager of the Year in 2010, the last time the Twins made the playoffs and had a winning record.
In a press release, the Twins said they will immediately begin their search for a new manager, internally and externally. The coaching staff will be determined by the new manager in conjunction with Executive Vice President and General Manager Terry Ryan.